June 11, 2013 in Startup
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June 10, 2013 in Startup
Editor’s note: Demetrios Kallergis informed me that you can find more coverage of this product in the this issue of the Software Developer’s Journal.
Hamilton, Canada – Kallergis Consulting Limited introduces Server 1.0 for iOS. The Server is an application that turns your iOS device into a fully featured wirelessly accessible data modelling and multi-user access platform for you to use to build systems with that are centered around other devices using your device as their server. It breathes new life into anything that runs iO5 or better.
The Server gives you the ability to integrate your iOS device into your life in a whole new way. What it becomes is entirely up to you. You’ll need to provide your own wi-fi network, the development tools of your choice, and some initiative to try out something all new, and tread some new ground for software design. Start it up and use a browser to connect to your device. When you browse to your device, you’ll find the API is documented there, with one click access to try out each command.
It’s kind of like a NoSQL system, it’s kind of like a database, it’s kind of like an application server, it’s kind of like a web server. While it is all of those things, it really is something you’ve never seen before. When the Server is running on your device, any software development tool that has an HTTP client can connect to it, on your own wi-fi network. It can handle lots of connections, so you can use it to share data any which way you can dream up.
It’s a brand new way of building systems, built by professionals to be a better way to store, secure, and access data. It exposes a set of services over HTTP or HTTPS that allow a programmer to define, create, and manage data. It is intended to be a tool for software developers to build systems with. If you are not a programmer, or or have no aspirations to be one, then perhaps this software isn’t for you. However, if you are interested in using your iOS device in a whole new way, and learning how to use a brand new data modelling and access platform for building systems including your device as the server, then this is exactly what you’re looking for.
The system takes care of storing and securing, so you can get to the business of designing. The design approach to creating and accessing data in this system is very powerful, but will likely take some getting used to. Everything is version controlled, and secured. Logical concepts like databases, tables, and rows are represented by defining, instantiating, and relating things together.
You can think of it as a database because it lets you define the structures you want to use, and how the structures should relate. Then it lets you bend those rules easily if you need to, without large redesigns or change scripts.
You can think of it as a data warehouse because it never forgets anything it was told to keep. If you want to see how something looked at a particular point in time, it is simply a few read requests away. This opens the door to some very interesting auditing possibilities.
You can think of it as a universal database because it works with any client because it doesn’t need extra client access software.
You can think of it as a NoSQL system because communicating with it is kind of like communicating with name and value pairs, but it’s more than that.
You can think of it as an app server because it hosts your system, and takes care of user permissions and access controls.
The engine driving this software is built entirely in C++ by a very small team, with a desire to build systems a better way. We think we’ve accomplished our goal. We hope that you try it, and agree. Due to the newness of this technology, we understand that additional support might be required. If you’re stuck or having problems, drop us an email and we’ll do our best to help you directly.
* iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5, iPod touch (3rd/4th/5th generation), and iPad
* Requires iOS 5.1 or later
* Universal app optimized for display on all iOS devices
* 25.6 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Server 1.0 is $19.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Productivity category.
Kallergis Consulting Limited is a software development and consulting services company based out of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Copyright (C) 2013 TinyPlanet Software LLC. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
milton, Ontario, Canada. Copyright (C) 2013 TinyPlanet Software LLC. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Editor’s note: Last Fall I was contacted by Dylan C. Robertson, a journalism student creating a project called ONset to cover Ontario startups. In November of 2012 he published this article covering Hamilton.
Mohawk College sits atop Hamilton Mountain. A platform down the street overlooks the cityâs aging steel mills and industrial downtown.
In the heart of the main campus, past its wind turbines and glass walls, Jerad Godreault, 21, types sporadically on his Macbook. He sits on an IKEA couch at iDeaWORKS, the collegeâs innovation hub that takes bright students with ideas and equips with them resources and know-how.
Godreault, a software development student, co-founded the medical app Imaginauts with his brother Leo, a nursing graduate. Their app tracks a patientâs prescription compliance by reminding them to take their drugs, and logging when they do. Doctors can monitor the data, which can suggest when in the day a prescription works best.
A born-and-raised Hamiltonian, Godreault is enthusiastic about his cityâs ânurturing, supportive community.â Heâs also a test case in a concerted effort to transfrom this municipality of 520,000 from a gritty steel town to a hub of medical tech innovation.
The iDeaWORKS lab is a concrete-walled room with tables of computers, multiple whiteboards and binders of information on co-op placements. Three-dimensional cardboard figures from video games hang from the ceiling, including Zeldaâs Triforce logo and the Super Mario question-mark cube.
Godreault is sending messages to people he met at recent networking events. Heâs asking for votes in Startoff Hamilton, a city-wide, month-long contest where start-ups pitch their idea to Hamiltonians, who vote for the best idea.
The contest, with $150,000 at stake, has attracted 27 teams. Stickers with 8-bit graphics promoting the long competition are peppered across the city.
Godreault is good at contests. In May, Mohawk College sent him to Vancouver, where he competed and won the e-Health 2012 Apps Challenge.
âThat was really cool,â says Godreault, adjusting his boxy, thick black-framed glasses.
The $3,500 competition required entrepreneurs to pitch their app to health software professionals. Judges grilled all nine teams, and Godreault says he was ready because his instructors prepared him for it.
âWe learned how to pitch and get people interested and paying attention. I knew nothing about pitching,â he says. âIâm a guy with an idea. They showed me how to make it work.â
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Kevin Browne is on a mission to change the face of Hamilton.
As a 29-year-old computer science PhD candidate at McMaster University, his decade-long career has included a 16-month stint in Waterloo, Ontarioâs tech mecca.
â[Waterlooâs] a nice place to live; good place to raise a family,â Browne says. âBut Hamilton is home to me. And we have so much to offer.â
Despite Hamiltonâs low cost of rent, vibrant art scene and sizable downtown, it wasnât enough to keep his tech colleagues from Mohawk and McMaster in town.
âEvery year, I lost all my friends. Theyâd go for jobs in Toronto, Waterloo, New York, Silicon ValleyâŠ It was very personally frustrating,â Browne says.
In 2010, after years of the usual rotation, he asked a friend why he chose to leave Hamilton.
âHe said you need a community; you need events and networks,â Browne recalls. âYou canât just create this out of thin air.â
Determined to stop the brain drain, Browne gathered his friends together and launched Hamiltonâs first DemoCamp in March 2011. Copied from the monthly Toronto event that kicked off in 2005, these one-evening mini-conferences involve a guest speaker and five software demonstrations.
Hamiltonâs first event attracted 100 people, including unfamiliar faces.
âI knew people were out there,â Browne says.
Things snowballed. Within a year, Hamilton had multiple monthly and annual events, from networking and competitions to employee-employer matchmaking sessions.
In early October 2012, the city held its second annual Lionâs Lair event, a take on Dragonâs Den that sees 10 entrepreneurs compete for $100,000 in investment and contracts. Both events sold out, with over 500 guests and plenty of media coverage.
Browneâs initiative is only part of the story. Local colleges, universities, city planning departments and employers are taking an all-hands-on-board approach to making new technology a key part of Hamiltonâs economy.
âWeâre all on the same page and itâs not an issue to say âHey, Iâm doing this event, do you have anyone who could help me out?ââ says Carolynn Reid of the cityâs economic development department, which offers consulting, funding and promotion.
While Hamilton officials keep limited data on how many tech start-ups are based in the city and how many people they employ, figures point to growing innovation sector. At least one tech patent is filed from Hamilton each week, and the cityâs digital footprint can bee seen through the hundreds of stickers and 17,000 unique voters logged in Octoberâs Hamilton Startoff competition. CBC launched its first digital-only branch in the city this spring after radio frequencies werenât available.
A big force behind this shift toward new technologies has been Innovation Factory, a non-profit, provincially funded organization that connects start-ups with investors and resources. It even mirrors the tech industryâs penchant for unconventional spelling: iF.
In less than two years, iF counts 350 start-up clients, half of which work in information and communications technology. That gives Hamiltonâs tech industry roughly a fourth the heft of Waterloo, a city the province started investing in as a tech hub in the 1960s.
If building a tech base from scratch is a challenge, fighting negative impressions is no cakewalk.
âI never thought of living in Hamilton until I actually explored the city. It differed in every way from my first impression,â says Keanin Loomis, iFâs chief advocate who has lived in Waterloo and Washington, DC.
âThe people are friendly and really down-to-earth. I fell for the city.â
Start-ups have followed a similar path, like REfficient, an online marketplace where businesses can buy and sell surplus inventory across seven countries. Founded in Mississauga, the company moved to Hamilton last year to save 30 per cent of their business costs and rent, and hasnât looked back.
But Loomis says Hamilton can be dwarfed by its proximity to Toronto, and long-held perceptions linger.
âWhen people from Southern Ontario hear Hamilton, they see the steel mills along the QEW,â says Loomis.
The other route into Hamilton is through Hwy. 403, which passes by the McMaster Innovation Park, a red-brick building in the cityâs west end where researchers and entrepreneurs share workspaces and ideas.
âSteelâs important to our economy and our identity, but weâre so much more,â says Reid, from the cityâs economic development department. âPeople have to come and see the city for what it is.â
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Itâs a windy Thursday night in October and The Winking Judge, a microbrewery pub operating in a Victorian house, is bustling.
Upstairs, a group of about 30 techies is chatting big ideas. Some are in their 20s, but most are mid-aged. Almost all are male. Unbuttoned cardigans are in vogue tonight, as is pumpkin-flavoured beer.
Itâs the one-year anniversary of StartUpDrinks, an informal monthly evening where ideas, business cards and craft draught flow.
âI canât think of a reason to leave the city,â says Steve Veerman, a software developer for Postmedia who was raised in Hamilton. âYou have events like tonight, and a bunch of stuff that Kevin [Browne] got going and some sort of tech culture here.â
Outside his day job, Veerman is working on Eventity, an app that crawls through buzz on social media and to map out whatâs popular in the city. Tonight, heâs also hawking for votes for the online Startoff Hamilton competition.
Over the course of an evening, two strangers will come up with an idea for an app and write it on a napkin, a young entrepreneur will land a job interview and almost everyone will discuss the cityâs monthly outdoor art crawl that happened earlier that week.
âFrom what I can see, weâre blossoming as a city,â says Duane Hewitt, a biologist by trade whoâs hoping to expand his consulting work into mobile health technology. âHamiltonâs sort of the best place for health-focused work.â
Many of the projects discussed at this monthâs StartupDrinks have a medical focus. Hamilton is where most North American eHealth records systems are designed, and the city hosts medical competitions like Apps for Health.
Healthcare has long been the cityâs second industry after steel, propelled by decades of health research from McMaster, the provinceâs largest medical school. Through new technology start-ups, health is remerging as Hamiltonâs raison dâĂȘtre.
The cityâs switch to health innovation echoes the path travelled before by Kitchener and Waterloo, two cities that pivoted from insurance companies and manufacturing to mobile innovation over the past two decades.
Communitech, a Waterloo non-profit similar to Hamiltonâs iF, estimates that 30,000 people are now employed in more than 1,000 tech firms in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, with new ones popping up at a rate that doubles every year.
Just as Waterloo start-ups brought the cityâs focus to mobile innovation, Hamilton start-ups are looking to make waves in medical technology.
âA lot of my clients have health-related businesses. I guess health is sort of our bridge into the tech world,â says Tim Miron, an accountant who works with many start-up clients. He points across the bar to some entrepreneurs heâs been chatting with, all in their 20s.
âWeâll get there through these guys.â
June 6, 2013 in Startup
Well through the week I’m often at the Innovation Destination milieu, at our beautiful McMaster Innovation Park where startup entrepreneurs drop by on a daily basis. Not all or even a major number wander over to say “hi” and ask for some advice/counsel…but the ocasional one does in an off-hand sort of way….as when I ask “what’s new” I usually then get a list of current issues, problems and crossroads that they’re facing…
And that’s what I wanted to talk about today….this inability of a startup entrepreneur to make a decision based on their current level of understanding.
I guess what that means is that when any entrepreneur is faced with an issue, they must research same….find out all of the variables that can affect THIS decision…and what that will mean for the future of their business too – and then decide.
Lead. Follow. Or get the hell out of the way is how I think of this – but maybe not as it might appear on the surface.
What I mean is that for any entrepreneur to succeed…don’t they NEED to be up front leading the way?
As it’s often stated “unless you’re the lead dog, the view seldom changes…” and boy is that ever the truth! Being successful in business is a tough horizon to aim at….and for many entrepreneurs, they fall from being the lead dog in their sector or startup and fall by the wayside.
And from what I see, it’s decisions that are not made on time to gain a competitive edge. Decisions are not being made. And startups are faltering….least that’s the word I’ll use right now…yup…faltering.
Some might say that to make a decision, you have to fully understand the issue, which I’d agree with….but what if you don’t? What if there are some items you’ve not yet considered or have done so, but not in enough depth? What if there is a decision you need to make – but you don’t know that you do?
Case in point…and what got me thinking on same….I just heard a great – and I mean great “deep-nerd” pitch (my term for a pitch made by a programmer) to a room full of investors by a firm that has 2 of the 3 major startup areas covered for their firm. The firm had a geek and an artist but no business type at all….no one to send out to “sell” the firm to Angels or VCs or investors. No one to develop a business model that would invite investment. No one to go out and get revenues. Just the geek and the artist…sigh…
Did they think that they needed such a new founder and if so had they thought about even thinking about same? Nope. No biz type on board….and when asked they only offered that such an addition would dilute their share structure and provide no real value. Huh? The classic founding team yes, has a geek and an artist (or something similar) but always includes a biz type….the guy who can go out and find funding and revenues too.
So one can only nod….and move on…which is what I did…but in thinking about it, I thought I would at least share same here with our readerhip…that such decisions must be faced…must be considered…else, you fall by the wayside…no longer making your own firm’s path towards success!
For those entrepreneurs “stuck” in that “second dog from the front” type of spot….I have no real advice other than the title of this post….lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!
June 3, 2013 in Startup
Historically, photo management was solved by a single product, such as iPhoto, that did a reasonable job for most people. Photos were taken at events, synced manually over a cable, organized around events and albums, edited using the photo management software’s tools, saved locally, and shared directly.
The shift to mobile devices and the rise of cameras that are always connected has changed things. It has changed how we take photos, our sync and save expectations, our organization methods, and our sharing behavior.
Adding to the problem is that there isn’t a common way that we manage our photos. Individual needs and expectations differ across all aspects of photo management.
My guess on the solution? The disaggregation of photo management.
Companies such as Dropbox will provide the plumbing (sync and save).
Companies such as Aviary will power the editing functionality across a variety of services.
Organize and share will be increasingly coupled, delivered by a number of different services (startups in this space today: Tracks, Albumatic, Cluster, Days, etc.)
Even browse and discovery experiences are changing. Services will increasingly leverage context to deliver photos in intelligent ways (see Timehop’s Dropbox integration).
All of this raises the question: what does this mean for startups like Picturelife and Everpix that, from sync to save, are working on the entire photo management problem?
June 1, 2013 in Startup
OCE’s Experiential Learning Program (ELP) competition, held at this week’s Discovery trade show and conference, saw emerging entrepreneurs from funded partner programs showcase their business models to a panel of judges with the hopes of taking home one of three top prizes.
Participants in the competition submitted business plans on their products or innovations and demonstrated the market opportunity in advance of the competition, and followed up their case with a live pitch on the Discovery show floor.
The 2013 Experiential Learning Competition award winners are:
Project Lead: Matthew Gardner
Team Member: Jason Moore
Institution and ELP Partner: Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation, McMaster University
Company: Komodo OpenLab Inc.
Project Lead: Mauricio Meza
Team Members: Jorge Silva, Tom Nantais, Eric Wan
Institution and ELP Partner: Digital Media Zone, Ryerson University
Project Lead: Noura Sakkijha
Team Members: Jorge Barnaby, Masoud Sakkijha, Majed Masad
Institution and ELP Partners: Digital Media Zone, Ryerson University
The Hon. Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, presented the three top innovators with an award to further support their business.
The ELP Competition was moderated by Andrew Wilkes, Partner, Management Initiatives, Inc. and judged by Dr. Hadi Mahabadi, President and CEO, Can Win Consulting Inc.; Daryl Johnston, Director, Market Development, Technology, Media, Telecommunications and Clean Tech, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Janet Scholz, President and CEO, ACCT Canada; Julia Deans, CEO, Canadian Youth Business Foundation; and Narinder Dehal, Vice President, Finance, Administration and Programs, Ontario Centres of Excellence.
OCE’s ELP supports Ontario post-secondary institutions to manage and grow established project- and experience-based programs for young entrepreneurs that will accelerate and enhance the quality of new ventures and industry collaborations arising from Ontario academic institutions. There are nine such programs representing 12 Ontario colleges and universities.
Named Canada’s Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011 and now in its eighth year, OCE’s Discovery is Canada’s premier innovation showcase. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of energy, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 2,500 attendees and 350 exhibitors.
About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE).
For more information contact:
Manager, Media Relations
416-861-1092 x 1022
Anyone who’s studied startup marketing or is trying to growÂ a startupÂ knows about the adoption cycle and theÂ potential of ‘early adopters’. This blog post will share with you some of the key highlights ofÂ a recent LeanCoffeeTOÂ meetup on how to maximize the value of your early adopters.Â It will alsoÂ touch on the pitfalls to watch out for, sinceÂ early adopters present both challenges and opportunities.
Here are 3 ways to maximize the value of earlyÂ adopters:
- Allow Early Adopters to Guide Development Early adopters can often find new and unexpected ways to use your product. Attracting early adopters and being open to how early they interact with your offering will help guide your product or services development.
- Collect Feedback to Improve Your Offerings Early adopters can help identify or confirm why your solution offers value for end users. Early adopters may even offer ideas on what could be added, removed or changed to improve the value proposition. Be sure to put this valuable information to use to refine your offering and bolster its chances of success. For added insight, consider validating your sales and marketing plan by meeting potential customers.
- Target Specific Thought Leaders Getting thought leaders from your target industry onboard can be a great way to fuel your growth, add credibility, and quickly expand, as though leaders satisfied with your solution can be a great source of promotion. Consider popular posters on industry related forums, bloggers, and prominent social media users when deciding whose influence youâd like to leverage.
Here are 3 things to watch out for when attracting early adopters:
- Avoid Attracting People Who Will âAdopt Anything Earlyâ Itâs great to attract new users, but attracting the right early adopters is they key to success. You can promote your offerings to specific, well-suited groups or forums, or offer a closed beta to help control who is allowed to be an early adopter. Doing so can help you ensure the opportunity to collect meaningful feedback from the right demographics.
- Temper Early Adopter Feedback Early adopters may be overly excited by the idea of “new” and might provide you with an inaccurate evaluation of your solution. Temper the feedback of overzealous early adopters and, when possible, try to meet face to face in order to find the most meaningful feedback. Watch for early adopters that can identify both the positive and the negative qualities of your product or service. They are the ones most likely to offer some of the most valuable feedback.
- Be Mindful of the Implications of Big Users The idea to take on a big user is certainly an attractive one. However, it can often come with a few often overlooked pitfalls, as big users often have big demands. Whether their demands stem from specific requirements on your systems, time, production capacities, or whether they are based on special customization or development that they want to see, when considering going after big users make sure you have the resources in place to accommodate the size of their needs.
Attracting early adopters can be an exciting time for any startup. Apply these tips to grow with confidence by getting the most out of your early adopters while avoiding overlooked obstacles and easy-to-make mistakes.
May 29, 2013 in Startup
Hamilton, Ontario â May 29, 2013 â REfficient, the first Hamilton-based Certified B Corp, today made B Labsâ prestigious âBest for the Worldâ list for environmental impact. The list, compiled by US-based B Lab, recognizes companies around the world that are leaders in corporate environmental responsibility.
REfficientâs online marketplace allows companies to go shopping in other companiesâ surplus inventory for Telecom and AV equipment. A growing list of global companies resell and recycle via the REfficient platform, while also receiving sustainability metrics for their Corporate Responsibility reports. Many of Canadaâs largest telecom companies are active users of the transactional platform, helping divert more than one million pounds of e-waste from landfill since 2010.
The B Corp âBest for the Worldâ list recognizes B Corps that rank in the top 10% of all B Corps for the category. REfficient is considered among the best of the best for the environment category. This sets the company apart, as B Corps overall score about 25% better than other sustainable businesses, while the âBest for the Worldâ recipients achieve ratings 50% better.
âFrom the outset, we wanted to build a company with sustainability at its core, and mandate to prove itâs possible to harness technology to create solutions that benefit business and the environment,â said REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty. âMaking the âBest for the Worldâ list validates our focus and itâs tremendously gratifying to gain global recognition as we expand our platform around the world.â
About B Corps
B Corporations are certified by B Lab, a non-profit organization serving the world leading entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 680 Certified B Corporations from more than 60 industries and 24 countries.
REfficientâs transactional marketplace is built on a âtriple-winâ model, providing large telecom and AV companies a trusted and efficient platform for deriving value from surplus inventory, while offering buyers reliable, often new equipment at savings of 20-50% over traditional sources. This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. You can follow REfficient at @REfficient and www.facebook.com/REfficient.
In partnership with Via Rail consider this your official invite to our Ontario Startup Train wine and cheese on May 29th at Union Station in Toronto. We hope to get all our train attendees, alumni from last year and anyone considering coming this year together to start connecting and meeting before we even board the train. If you haven’t bought your ticket, come out and meet us.
If you don’t have your train ticket yet, grab one now as we will sell out again this year. Our early ticket purchasers get dibs on spots for our on-train mentoring with the likes of Jim Estill, Zak Homuth, Brian Kobus and many more.
You remember the roadtrips of your youth, some with your parents, some with just friends. For our greatest roadtrips, we remember the journey the rest of our lives but often pause and think “where were we headed?”
“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive”, ZAMM, Robert Pirsig
Last year we organized a roadtrip for startup founders and funders. We reserved our own car on a Via train and packed it full of entrepreneurs. Our destination was The International Startup Festival in Montreal for three full days of meeting, conversing, learning and working with a truly international audience of startup people.
Startup conferences are very different beasts compared to their corporate cousins. People aren’t attending “because my boss sent me”. Instead the majority have spent what little pocket change they have to get there. The result is a conference filled with hustlers motivated to get a ton of value out of being there. We hope to help.
Instead of wasting your travel time, join us on the Ontario Startup Train and let’s get organized before we’re even registered for the conference. Our hope is to get you thinking and sharing what you need to get out of attending this conference before hand. Sharing that with other people on the train means it won’t be just you hunting for an introduction to Dave McClure or speaking to that potential partner you want to invite into your new project.